Mainly on Directing: Gypsy, West Side Story, and Other Musicals

Mainly on Directing Gypsy West Side Story and Other Musicals From Arthur Laurents playwright screenwriter director a mesmerizing book about theater the art the artist the insider the outsider and the making of two of the greatest musicals of the American

  • Title: Mainly on Directing: Gypsy, West Side Story, and Other Musicals
  • Author: Arthur Laurents
  • ISBN: 9780307270887
  • Page: 375
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From Arthur Laurents, playwright, screenwriter, director a mesmerizing book about theater, the art, the artist, the insider, the outsider and the making of two of the greatest musicals of the American stage, West Side Story and Gypsy It is a book profoundly enriched by the author s two loves, love for the theater and love for his partner of fifty two years, Tom HatcFrom Arthur Laurents, playwright, screenwriter, director a mesmerizing book about theater, the art, the artist, the insider, the outsider and the making of two of the greatest musicals of the American stage, West Side Story and Gypsy It is a book profoundly enriched by the author s two loves, love for the theater and love for his partner of fifty two years, Tom Hatcher, who shared and inspired every aspect of his life and his work.Laurents writes about the musicals he directed, I Can Get It for You Wholesale, its producer David Merrick the Abominable Showman , and its very young stars Barbra Streisand and Elliott Gould He writes about Stephen Sondheim s Anyone Can Whistle, which starred Angela Lansbury and Lee Remick, marking the debut for each in musical theater He summons up the challenges and surprises that came with the making of La Cage aux Folles, the first big Broadway musical that was gay and glad to be.He writes in rich detail about his most recent production of Gypsy, how it began as an act of love, a love that spread through the entire company and resulted in a Gypsy unlike any other And about his new bilingual production of West Side Story.And he talks, as well, about the works of other directors Fiddler on the Roof Kiss Me, Kate Spring Awakening Street Scene The Phantom of the Opera LoveMusik Sweeney Todd.Moving, exhilarating, provocative a portrait of an artist working with other artists a unique close up look at today s American musical theater by a man who s been at its red hot center for than five decades.
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      Published :2019-06-15T04:30:30+00:00

    693 Comment

    • Timothy Hallinan says:

      I read this book on a sort of jag (it's not over yet) soaking up works about the Broadway stage. Laurents' name may not be familiar today but he wrote, among other things, the books for the Broadway productions "Wet Side Story" and "Gypsy" as well as the movie "The Way we Were." And many, many others. MAINLY ON DIRECTING is an interesting book mostly because Laurents is relatively candid about what happens (both to the project and to relationships among its creators) as a show comes together, bu [...]

    • Lauri says:

      Mr. Laurents doesn't hold back, that's for sure. The first few chapters are spent skewering Sam Mendes and Laurents is up and down from there. The author is just as complimentary toward those he loved working with as he is critical of those he didn't (or even those he previously loved working with, but who wronged him in some way). It's refreshing that an old-school theater guy has wonderful things to say about several newer Broadway stars (Laura Benanti, Lin-Manuel Miranda). As a theater-lover, [...]

    • Pat says:

      Arthur Laurents is 90 now and this is a short book about some of the more recent shows that he has directed - a revised Gypsy with Patti Lupone in particular, where Patti ended up winning a Tony. Since he wrote the book for some of these shows as well as directing them, he really has interesting insights into how he has gone about directing them.

    • Scott Lewis says:

      It's been a long time since I read a book in one sitting, but this was so entertaining I couldn't help myself. A little bit gossipy, a little bit catty, funny, silly, romantic and painfully honest, this is an expose of one man's career in the Broadway musical theater! It's both breezy and insightful.

    • Shawn Thrasher says:

      Mainly On Directing by Arthur Laurents was smoking hot. More than a bit of bitchier, occasionally gossipy, some meaty information about not only musicals like Gypsy and La Cage but also about directing (and mis-directing) a Broadway musical. This is also a love letter to Laurent's partner of many, many years, recently deceased. What a love story!

    • Ayne Ray says:

      Picking up after "Original Story By: A Memoir of Broadway and Hollywood" left off, the bulk of this book focuses on the wildly critical, financial, and social successes of the revivals of "Gypsy" and "West Side Story" and makes an impassioned plea for the role of musicals in the modern theatre. A genuine treat.

    • Ed says:

      What does a director do? Who is responsible for what? I learned that along the way. I like West Side Story (though I've only seen the movie). The author sharply and shrewdly takes us through the details attendant to "putting on a show," whether concert-staged or Broadway-bound. Interesting stuff.

    • Dave says:

      Though thoroughly engrossing, this was a bit disjointed and comes across like a bitch's manifesto of the theatre. I love his take on his City Center "Encores!" experience. Gotta hand it to him for continuing to direct to sellout crowds into his 90s.

    • Ryan Naples says:

      Eileen recommended I read this while I was in between books. It was funny. This guy was tough. And knows his shit very well.

    • Mark says:

      A very ungenerous, late in life author's tale. In short: any work he did - wonderful; any work done by others - questionable (if not outright bad). Interesting for the catty gossip.

    • Nick says:

      It is a great book because it tells the stories of the shows he has directed. It's a great view into musical theater. I especially like the chapter where he talks about LA CAGE.

    • Tim Pinckney says:

      Alternately fascinating and annoying.

    • Joann L says:

      great theatre gossip from an iconic director

    • Sanford says:

      It's hard to count the number of times he says "I did this like it's never been done before anywhere in the history of everything."

    • Sarah Catherine says:

      A wonderful and insightful read for those interested in theatre. It helps to have seen Gypsy or West Side Story before to understand some references, but overall a funny and beautiful memoir.

    • Carolyn says:

      Fun, behind the scenes look at directing Broadway musicals, Laurents tells what he really thinks of his collaborators. Gossipy, entertaining, and enlightening all at the same time.

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